Peace Corps Moldova

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By Admin1 (admin) on Wednesday, July 04, 2001 - 7:18 pm: Edit Post

Welcome to the Peace Corps Moldova!



Welcome to the Peace Corps Moldova!

Peace Corps Moldova

Welcome to the Peace Corps Moldova!

As the newly independent state of Moldova rapidly becomes integrated into the International Community, the United States Peace Corps is an important piece of the efforts to assist this wonderful country in building a prosperous society.

Since the first group of volunteers arrived in 1993, the pace of change has increased rapidly, as Moldova continues to expand upon its potential. Although there are many stumbling blocks to continued growth, the prospect for a brighter future is enhanced in part by the efforts of many hard working volunteers.

This site will hopefully enlighten you about one of the most promising members of the former Soviet Union.

Bine Ati Venit!


Volunteers in Moldova

The current three programs in Moldova - TEFL, Small Business Development, and NGO Development - will be joined in 1997 with a new Health Education Program.

This page is dedicated to bringing your information highlighting a specific volunteer in each of the three existing programs:

Teaching English as Foreign Language

Small Business Development

Non-Government Organization Development


Peace Corps Moldova

ABOUT MOLDOVA

Basic Facts History Economic and Social Overview

Basic Facts about Moldova

Moldova is a hilly agricultural nation bordering Romania to the Southwest and Ukraine to the north east and south. The Prut river defines the western border, and the Dniester river parallels the eastern border, several miles inward. Moldova is the second smallest of former Soviet states, with 33,700 square kilometers (13,000 square miles) of land.

The country experiences four distinct seasons, including cold winters and warm, semi-humid summers. The average national temperature is 20 C (70 F) in July and -4 C (20 F) in January. The average annual precipitation level is moderate, with 37 cm in the south and 56 cm in the north of the country.

As of the 1990 census, Moldova has a population of 4,362,000, consisting of the following ethnic groups: 64% Moldovan, 14% Ukrainian, 13% Russian and 9% other, including Turkish, Jewish and Bulgarian.

Romanian was declared the official language of Moldova in 1989, replacing Russian. Although Russian is no longer the national language, many Moldovans, especially in urban areas, are nonetheless more familiar with Russian. Some Moldovans also have a functional knowledge of French, English, Spanish, Italian, German and/or other languages due to exposure in school and university.

The major cities of Moldova include the capitol city, Chisinau, with 676,000 people; Tiraspol with 184,000; Balti with 162,000; and Benderi with 132,000.

Of the people participating in religious activities in Moldova, the majority are Christian in the Eastern Orthodox rite. Religious communities of other persuasions, including Roman Catholic, Baptist, Seventh Day Adventist and Jewish are also active. Neither official nor social restrictions exist with regards to religious belief. Nevertheless, in Moldova, there has been and continues to be a higher level of Jewish emigration, reflective of a trend taking place throughout the former Soviet Union.

History

Moldova's unique locality, at the perimeter of eastern and western cultures, has contributed to a long and difficult struggle against other countries and to the very difficult task for the indigenous Moldovan people to maintain their cultural and political sovereignty. During the Middle Ages, as well as in Modern times, Moldova, like other principalities, carried out a policy oriented towards the maintenance and recognition of its independence, the defense of its territory, and the preservation of its frontiers.

One of the most glorious eras in the history of Moldova occurred during the reign of the government of Stefan Cel Mare (Stefan the Great) between 1457 and 1504. During these years, Moldovans won brilliant victories over the Turks, Tartars, Hungarians, Poles and other invaders. This temporary success, however was no guarantee of the nation's future stability. Under the permanent threat of invasion, the principalities of this region experienced periods when their unification was the only means for them to resist aggression. Thus, in light of historical circumstances, the first unification of the three principalities of the region, namely Transylvania, Moldova and Muntenia, took place during the rule of Mihai Viteazul (1593 to 1601). Although short lived, this historical event served as a precedent for the union of the two principalities - Tara Romaneasca and Moldova - which formed a new country in 1859, namely Romania.

The Bassarabian region of Moldova was first annexed to Russia - at that the Russian empire - in 1812. Following the Crimean War, in 1856, Russia lost the southern region of Bessarabia to Moldova, only to gain it back from Romania in 1878 at the Congress of Berlin. With the collapse of the Russian Empire in 1918, this region, comprised of part of the present territory of the Republic of Moldova and part of the Ukraine, declared its independence and reunited with Romania. The newly formed Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) refused to recognize this reunification, however, and in 1924 created the Moldavian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (MASSR). In June 1940, according the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, the remainder of the present day Bassarabia was annexed by the USSR, and part of it was combined with the MASSR, to for the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic (MSSR). In the early 1940's, as the Second World War raged through Europe, Romania again claimed the territory of the MSSR. Following the war, the region was annexed again, for a final time, by the Soviet Union.

Subsequent to the 1944 annexation of the MSSR, the leadership of the USSR, in an attempt to create a uniform, patriotic and Soviet-cultured empire, began a period of intense russification. This process included the official introduction of the Cyrillic alphabet and the Russian language into everyday life (replacing the traditional Latin alphabet and the Romanian language), and the cultural re-education of the population into the Soviet/Communist tradition.

The tone of Soviet leadership changed in 1986 with the introduction of the radical policy of "glasnost" (openness) by USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev. This new policy permitted the pursuit of traditional culture by the Moldovan population and leadership, and set the stage for the Republic's independence. On August 27, 1991, following the former USSR peoples' struggle for independence and after the failed coup in Moscow that resulted in the ousting of Gorbachev from power and the political collapse of the USSR, the Moldovan Parliament and the Republic's General Assembly declared Moldova's Independence.

Economic and Social Overview

Moldova has faced significant and escalating economic difficulties since its acquisition of independence in 1991. This situation is reflected in the main macroeconomic indicator for the Republic -- gross domestic product (GDP) -- which has dropped by nearly 60% in the last three years.

Agriculture, which serves as Moldova's largest source of national income, includes the production of wine, grain, beets, sunflower seeds, cattle and pigs. The agricultural sector has been strongly impacted by the nation's economic difficulties, as well as by adverse environmental conditions. In 1993, although Moldova's agricultural harvest was adequate, a considerable portion remained uncollected and unprocessed due to lack of fuel, transportation and financial resources. In addition, due to early November frosts, hundreds of thousands of tons of fruit, vegetables, and tobacco were damaged beyond use. In the summer of 1994, a similar stream of natural disasters, including a drought, followed by a hurricane, followed by a flood, caused even greater than those experienced in the previous year. The devastating flooding in August 1994 alone brought about losses totaling US$ 220 million, which exceeded the amount of Moldova's annual state budget. Food and crop processing has also been confronted with economic difficulties, resulting in production declines. In the first eight months of 1994 for example, the agricultural production dropped by 22% as compared to the same period for the previous year.

Moldova's industrial activities include: refrigerator, television, furniture, clothing and agricultural machinery production. The Republic's continued deficit of raw materials and energy resources, however, greatly threatens the productivity of this sector. Specifically, in 1993, of the 132 categories of production occurring in Moldova, 98 registered lower levels of production than in 1992, and 16 registered a decline of more than 50%. Of the Republics 262 production enterprises, 60% experienced production declines. A reduction in the production of consumer goods, equal to 140 million lei, was also experienced. Overall in 1993, many industrial enterprises operated at levels 50 % lower than heir full potential.

In 1994, despite some achievement of the economy, such as stable national currency and low rate of inflation, serious constraints on production remained prevalent. Industrial output, for example, decreased by 33.5% in 1994 as compared to 1993.

The decline in production has negatively influenced the budgetary capacity of the Moldovan Government to address social and other issues, In November of 1994, for example, budget arrears reached a level of US$ 70 million. As a result, sizable delays exist in payments of wages, pensions, stipend and other allocations.

Natural resources within the country are few. The situation in Moldova's energy sector is strained, therefore, more so as the nationís capacity to import energy continues to deteriorate. All types of fuel, including coal, oil and natural gas are imported primarily from Russia and Moldova's debt for natural gas, delivered from the Russian Federation, equaled US$ 250 million as of late 1994.

Nevertheless, despite the above mentioned difficulties, economic reform -- including privatization, and the transition to a market economy -- is being actively pursued in Moldova and is expected to slowly move the republic out of its current economic crisis and into a more healthy economic state.

Map of Moldova---Volunteers in Moldova---About Moldova---Peace Corps Programs---Links---Language




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This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Moldova

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